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  • AIA SF Design Awards: Bar Agricole

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    Bar Agricole

    The winners of the 2012 AIA Design Awards are presented in the May/June issue of CA Home + Design Magazine. Winners are either located in San Francisco or designed by local firms. These Bay area architects are given the spotlight for their innovative designs ranging from parking spaces recast as parks to an office that balances work and life.

    Bar Agricole, designed by Aidlin Darling Design is located in San Francisco's industrial South of Market district. The design was inspired by the sustainable agricultural roots of the restaurant's artisanal food and cocktail menu. It's currently in the process of becoming LEED certified.

    Modern sky light design

    Track lighting is a great way to add an even distribution of light while creating a chic, urban aesthetic. It can be used in commercial settings or residential, scale being the largest difference. Check out this idea to get the look above.

    Two Rail Adjustable Ceiling Fixture

     

    The illustration below demonstrates the architect's sustainable strategies and the detailed planning involved from the ground up.

     

    Sustainable design

    For example, there is a wood "hull" made from whiskey-barrel oak, which sits above the guests, giving intimacy and scale to the space while also providing openings for the sculptural light scoops. Bar tops, table tops and banquette seating (below) was made from reclaimed barn-beams.

    Modern banquet seating

    Small pendant lighting is a great way to illuminate each table top without taking away from the gorgeous wooded surroundings. This mini pendant below is a great way to get this look.

    Piper Satin Nickel Tech Mini Pendant

     

    If you live in the Bay area, make sure to stop by and see this award-winning design. You can feast on some deliciously fresh food too!

    Images: AIA SF, Aidlin Darling Design

  • Wall and Deco: Graphic Outdoor Wallpaper

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     Black and White outdoor mural wallpaper

    Wall & Deco introduces an incredible new collection of of outdoor wallpaper called OUT-Outdoor Unconventional Texture. The visual solutions for exterior decoration will blow your mind. Graffiti and street art have greatly influenced the design culture in the last few years and now Wall & Deco has taken this concept to the next level and combined it with innovative technology to create something completely unexpected.

    There are so many expressive possibilities which make these bold and graphic outdoor wallpapers an architects dream!  Adding color and graphic wall murals into urban settings makes for happy places and it actually brings inspiration to communities. Goodbye outdoor tile, hello outdoor wallpaper! Just take a look at some of the amazing exterior applications.

    BauHaus: This colorful graphic pattern creates such a bold contrast with the natural environment. Imagine how this could light up at night with the use of modern up lighting.

    colorful wall mural

    Kefia: The Houndstooth pattern adds sophistication to this modern architecture. Pair it with colorful outdoor chairs and let the fun begin!

     houndstooth pattern

    Tokio Stripes:  Black and white patterns are a bold, yet classic statement. Modern outdoor furniture in neutral tones helps maintain balance and doesn't compete with this bold pattern.

     graphic black and white pattterns

    Pop Pop Pop:  No repeat on this pop wall mural. Just look at how the image seems transparent and you can still see the "wall" behind it. Such amazing innovation.

     pop art wall mural

    Loren Ipsum: Combing the old with the new. How can that not be ancient text carved into a concete wall?

     text wall mural

    Camooo:  Camouflage your building or create a bold graphic statement. Imagine using this on a government building in your downtown! 

      

     Wall & Deco has just proven to us that architecture is about to get more fun! 

    Images: Wall & Deco

  • Modern Cabins - Small Space Summer Homes

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    Miniature Modern Cabins

    Vacation homes were once only for the rich, but modern cabins are packing big design into small footprints...and small price tags.

    As originally reported in the Los Angeles Times, students at the Woodbury University School of Architecture have proven that - with a simple storage shed, a $1,500 build-out budget, and some creative thinking - mini-cabins can achieve high design that's actually within reach. Land not included, of course.

    Under the guidance of professors Sonny Ward and Jeanine Centuori, the students were tasked with transforming 10' x 10' "over-the-counter" tool sheds into hospitable mini-cabins, affordable summer homes with light, insulation and sleeping space for two. For kicks (and added educational benefit), the professors added a wrinkle to the project: each of the three design teams were charged with incorporating a material - either wood, paper or plastic - throughout the design.

    Mini cabin interior designs

    Cabin interiors were kept understandably rustic, and with a 100 square foot footprint, space was utilized to the fullest.

    While these cabins were clearly more case study than residential solution, the project raised an interesting point. There are tons of ideas circulating for prefab vacation homes that are affordable, design savvy, and can handily withstand the rigor of part-time use.

    Check out this shipping container solution by Texas-based Poteet Architects, utilizing a durable steel shipping container as it's structure: 

    Shipping container architecture

    Clean and unobtrusive, use modern close to ceiling lights to open up the constrained feeling of a small space. 

    Affordable shipping container home

    Modern prefab homes have been a boom industry for a few years now, because they're relatively easy to deploy. This Sommerhaus Piu Prefab Vacation Home by German industrial designers Patrick Frey and Björn Götte is billed simply as "affordable." We might add stunning to that description.

    modern prefab homes

    The use of wall lights and small contemporary sconces keep limited airspace clean and clutter-free while stowing away neatly in the kitchen.

    Modern prefab vacation homes

    And for those who are looking for the turn-key approach, there's this contemporary loft design by Zenkaya:

    Prefab modern cabin

    Summer is just around the corner. When your wanderlust kicks in, consider surveying the landscape for a location that's amenable to housing modern cabins. Look for level ground and affordable property prices in areas within a days drive or train ride from home. Drop a design-savvy structure on top and you're ready to vacation in style. And should you ever need a house sitter, you know where to find us.

     Images: Los Angeles Times, Home Dsgn, the Coolist, Zenkaya

  • Poteet Architects: Collector's Loft

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    industrial loft

    Poteet Archtects, an award winning firm based in San Antonio, turned the top of this industrial building into a modern oasis. Jim Poteet opened the office with the hope that the firm could further the sustainable revitalization of downtown San Antonio. As you can see, they are best known for the sensitive adaptive reuse of existing buildings and rigorous approach to modern interior design.

    modern white living room

    The combination of smooth surfaces with the old, industrial materials left behind from the pre-existing structure give this interior depth and character. While the sleek contemporary furniture adds modern elegance. This floor lamp would be the perfect selection to get this look.

    Basque Steel and Brushed Nickel Arc Floor Lamp

    colorful modern furniture

    Among all the clean white surfaces, you will also find lots of fun color. Adding colorful furniture or home decor is a great way to add personality to a minimalist modern space.

    modern kitchen

    Check out this perfect pendant chandelier (below) for achieving the clean and elegant look of this modern kitchen. Between the artwork, lighting and playful accents, this kitchen design is perfectly balanced.

    Dolce Capiz Shell Pendant Chandelier

    modern dining furniture

    There's no arguing that this team of architects designed this space which sits atop an industrial building, into a stylish modern loft.

    Images: Poteet Archtects

  • Modern Outdoor Living: Experience The Relaxation

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     outdoor glass pavillion

    Long summer days and hot summer nights are finally upon us and now is the time to maximize your modern outdoor living experience in your own backyard. The Nevis Pool and Garden Pavilion (above) can be used year round, but when the doors open up on this glass structure, that's when you're using it to its maximum potential. However, it's intended to provide shelter from the harsh natural elements, so when the heat is too much you can still enjoy the beautiful garden, views of the pool, and the natural surroundings from within this modern backyard pavilion. 

     organic outdoor cabana

    The lush surroundings, modern pool, and organic outdoor structure create an environment that is so sculptural and serene. You can spend your days and your nights perched up above the pool like you're in a modern day treehouse. When the modern outdoor lighting is turned on just imagine the beauty of the glowing structure and pathway.

    modern outdoor playhouse

    An escape to your outdoor oasis is sometimes just what the day calls for. This Polyhedron Habitable designed by Manuel Villa is not only a retreat, but a sculptural masterpiece that easily integrates into nature through it's use of materials. The glass front opens up to the teak deck deck while the skylight opens up to let the stars shine in.  

    creative covered garden

    The owners of the Kodaira-Shi Residence in Tokyo weren't so blessed to have the beautiful private outdoor oasis surrounded by nature, but their team did an amazing job of creating one. Suppose Design Office created this primitive tent like structure attached to the residential structure to blur the confines between the indoors and outdoors. They were able to create a very private and unique area in a space located on street level that offered no privacy to the homeowners. Imagine the landscaped garden yet to be completed! The concrete floors and shaded open plan are natural cooling elements. And on a hot summer day, the use of contemporary ceiling fans would really get the breeze flowing in there.  

    If you're planning on building a cabana or outdoor structure to relax in this summer I challenge you think outside the box!

    Image Sources: ContemporistDecoration Channel, Manuel Villa Arquitecto, Yatzer

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